Category Archives: On Human Connections

When Farmers Don’t Co-operate (Dairy Style)

DSC_1331Hello, world!  I’m working on some lengthier posts, but in the meantime I’d like to share with you something I found in the archives yesterday that made me smile.

The context: I’m working on a couple chapters for my dissertation that focus on the idea of a ‘landscape of co-operation’ in the 19th century dairying countryside and all the ways in which that rational, scientific, spatial, and social ‘plan’ was thwarted by local networks, bad roads, grumpy cows, farmers shopping around for the best deal for their milk, and so on. Continue reading

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Filed under Academia, Dans Ontario, On Agriculture & the Environment, On Human Connections

Building a Hamilton-based Seed Library?

Seeds 2012Over the years I’ve developed a finely tuned tolerance for winter that balances the recognition of seasonality’s importance for southern Ontario with a curmudgeonly bitterness far more intense than the rest of the year.  I’ve coped with winters of late by dividing them into the holiday part, followed by the long, escapist part when I think about gardening, pore over seed catalogues, and mastermind brilliant garden plans. (Incidentally, my summers seem to be divided into two parts as well: the part when I try to put those plans in action, followed by the hot, sweaty resignation part when things get out of hand.) Continue reading

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Filed under Dans Ontario, Food and Cooking, On Agriculture & the Environment, On Human Connections, Politicking

Shame on the Anti-feminists

White Ribbon

Lately I’ve noticed numerous anecdotal signs of an anti-feminist groundswell: friends announcing on Facebook that they’re ‘over’ feminism (post-feminists, some would say), and a proliferation of signs on Hamilton telephone poles decrying the supposedly feminist-led assault on men’s rights.  (I’m working up the energy to eventually tackle a post on the men’s rights movement, but today is not that day.) Continue reading

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Filed under History, On Human Connections, Politicking

Doing Away with Double Blind

Warning: academic rant.

Having taken a solid month six weeks seven weeks off after comps to ‘unwind’ (i.e. do everything I put off for 8 months), I’ve returned to my academic work.  One of my fall projects is to revise and submit for publication two papers I’ve been working on for a while.

Once submitted to academic journals, both of these papers will undergo a process known as peer review, which means that they will be judged by a couple of readers (experts in one’s field) who suggest to the journal whether or not they think the article should ultimately be published. In general this process is  double-blind, meaning I will not know who reviewed it, nor will the readers know whose work they are reviewing. Continue reading

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The Ferocious Cold, or, how to slow the hell down

Today I have been sequestered in the imposing building to your left as my immune system battles The Ferocious Cold.  I refer, of course, to The Ferocious Cold (sickness), not The Ferocious Cold (winter).   Continue reading

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Filed under Academia, Food and Cooking, On Human Connections

A ‘Stampede’ of Cows and Thoughts that Tumble, Stumble

I don’t know if I can express to you just how apropos it was to see this video pop up as the latest post on City Farmer News, which is currently set as my browser homepage.  I was procrastinating checking my email, you see, between paragraphs of the paper I’m writing as part of my comprehensive exam requirements.  It’s meant to be an exhaustive rigorous literature search on a particular topic that is relevant to one’s currently-ephemeral dissertation.  I’m writing on animals.   Continue reading

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Filed under Academia, History, On Agriculture & the Environment, On Human Connections

I’ve Just Been Busy

I know a number of people with blogs who post on a regular basis.  I don’t know how they do it.  I’ve let weeks slip by in silence, though I think about writing all the time.  Alas, I’ve been busy.  (I’m sure they are too, hence my wonderment.) Continue reading

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On Quebec, education, and conservative myopia

Free tuition.  It’s not that we can’t do it.  It’s that we won’t.

If we, as a society, were justly democratic, the emphasis would be on developing a system where no one would be denied food, water, shelter, clothing, rest, sexuality, leisure, a healthy environment or education on the basis of cost or discrimination.  Instead democracy is shackled within the much narrower confines of one’s civic and political right to express opinions–to a point, as Bill 78 suggests–and then only through an elected-representative-as-mouthpiece. Continue reading

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That was a year; this is another (in Hamilton)

I took a vacation over New Years, and in British Columbia I set my sights on flora.  There’s a lot of moss.  I was enamoured by the hardy winter crops in rows on folks’ front lawns, gardens that have bunkered down for winter but hold onto some fierce kinda life force.  Continue reading

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Filed under Academia, Dans Ontario, On Agriculture & the Environment, On Human Connections, Politicking, Travel

Rabble Rousing in Grimsby

It began with a march on the banks in downtown Hamilton, but an autumn day of rabble rousing culminated with hot coffee, car stereos and friends at a moonlit intersection in residential Grimsby, Ontario.  We were twenty strong in a town of 20,000.  It was one of the more interesting actions I’ve been to, not least because these things often take place in more urban areas.  The quiet was punctuated by the periodic horns of vehicles whose drivers saw one of our signs: Honk against wage theft! Continue reading

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